Michael's Dispatches

No Victory Dances

23 August 2008

I hope to land in Afghanistan tomorrow, but as for tonight, I'm stuck in a hotel reading everything I can devour on Iraq and Afghanistan. An interesting interview with General Petraeus surfaced. General Petraeus has always been objective in his communications with me. I see in this Newsweek exclusive, that General Petraeus is again dampening expectations. I've seen him do it over and over. Now isn't that amazing? An American General who actually makes it a point to dampen press enthusiasm. But while delivering the raw truth, General Petraeus gains enormous credibility with journalists, who then reach untold millions of people. I remember stepping off his helicopter one night before he roared away into the Iraqi night. Just before I took off the headset and unbuckled my seat belt, General Petraeus said something like, "No Victory Dances." I stepped out and his darkened helicopter disappeared into the night, nearly knocking me over with the rotor wash. General Petraeus has enormous press credibility because he delivers the good, the bad and the ugly.

Now for General Petraeus:

Gen. David Petraeus is due to relinquish his role as the commanding general in Iraq in mid-September, moving up to head CENTCOM, the U.S. military's Central Command, in overall charge of the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He sat down for an hour and a half this week with NEWSWEEK's Rod Nordland, at the general's office in the American Embassy, in Saddam's old Republican Palace. Excerpts:


Click here to read the entire article by Rod Norland in Newsweek.



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